Just South of the City's Tritton Road shopping strip, Hartsholme Country Park can be found through a modest, understated entrance off the Skellingthorpe Road. Once discovered, it blossoms like a fabulous rare flower in the undergrowth. Well loved by the locals, it has the air of a best kept secret - an unbelievably large, rich and varied oasis of countryside tucked neatly in behind the edges of the City. It's a bit like stepping into a wardrobe and coming out in Narnia!
I stumbled upon Hartsholme as I was driving South out of Lincoln, after a spot of shopping, my dog on board and in need of a walk. We spotted a small discrete sign to the Hartsholme car park and pulled in to investigate. After scrutinising a very helpful map (see here: could this place really cover 200 acres?), we set off along one of the paths around a very beautiful lake - apparently built in the nineteenth century to provide water to Lincoln. Now surrounded by pretty Victorian railings and sculptures, the lake spreads out southwards, served by long waterside paths which take you deeper into the park and, for the more adventurous, lead to the neighbouring Swanholme Lakes and Nature reserve.
The park has an interesting history - some of the highlights include:
- 1848 Lake constructed by the Lincoln Waterworks Company.
- 1862 The Hall was built for Joseph Shuttleworth and the gardens were laid out by Victorian landscape gardener Edward Milner.
- 1902 Colonel Thomas W. Harding became the owner of Hartsholme Estate.
- 1909 Estate purchased by Lord Liverpool.
- 1939 Estate sold to Thomas Place, who never actually took up residence. During WWII Estate used for military training.
- 1951 Hall and 54 hectares of land were sold to
- Lincoln Corporation. Most of the Hall was demolished and the park was opened to the public.
- 1974 Park designated as a Country Park.
- 1978 Stables were converted into a visitor centre, café and toilets.
Nowadays, it provides a welcome haven for dog walkers, families, nature lovers and explorers - and even has a campsite for people wanting to holiday in a different side of the City. Highly recommended - and well worth a visit!
Hartsholme Country Park is about 3 miles away from The Lincoln House, a self catering townhouse which can accommodate up to 6 people in the Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln. You can check availability here.